The Home of Southern African Anarchism Online

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front, or ZACF – Zabalaza meaning ‘struggle’ in isiZulu and isiXhosa – is a specific anarchist political organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is a unitary organisation – or federation of individuals, as opposed to a federation of collectives – whereby membership is on an individual basis, by invitation only. This is because we have seen – through our own experience, as well as that of global anarchism historically – that we can accomplish more as an organisation, and be more effective, when our members share a certain level of theoretical and strategic unity, and collective responsibility. Our activities include study and theoretical development, anarchist agitation and propaganda, and participation within the class struggle.

The ZACF identifies with the anarchist communist, Platformist or Especifista traditions within anarchism and, as such, we subscribe to the idea of active minority. What this means is that, unlike our anarcho-syndicalist comrades for example, we do not seek to build mass anarchist movements, nor to turn existing social movements into anarchist movements, but to participate in existing movements – and assist in creating new ones where necessary – with the objective of spreading the influence of anarchist principles and practices, even when these mass organisations remain ideologically heterogeneous. In fact, it is our belief that – as the mass fighting organisations of the working class – we should not seek to homogenise mass movements and organisations ideologically, as the strength of these movements lies in their ability to unite and mobilise the largest possible number of workers, regardless of their religious, ideological or political affiliations. Rather, we hold that it is the role of the anarchist political organisation to fight for the leadership of anarchist ideas within mass movements, and for the implementation of anarchist principles therein (even if not recognised as such by the majority of members of the mass organisation), such as : direct democracy, mutual aid, horizontalism, class combativeness, direct action and class independence (independence of working class organisations/ movements from political parties and electoral politics).

Founded on May Day 2003 – at a time when political space was closing down in the trade unions, with them coming increasingly under the control of the African National Congress (ANC) government through the tripartite alliance, and it being increasingly difficult to criticise the ANC-led Alliance or raise alternatives within the trade union movement – a decision was taken by the ZACF to orient itself towards the emerging popular social movements that had been mushrooming around South Africa since the turn of the decade in response to the failure of the ANC government to fulfill its election promises.

As anarchist-communists, we struggle for a classless, stateless and non-hierarchical society. We envision an international confederation of directly democratic, self-managed communities and workplaces ; a society where all markets, exchange value systems and divisions of labour have been abolished and the means of production, distribution and communication are taken over by the workers and placed under workers’ self-management (socialised) in order to allow for the satisfaction of the needs of everyone, adhering to the communist principle :

“From each according to ability, to each according to need.”

Nouveautés sur le Web

The relevance of the ICU of Africa for modern day unions and liberation movements

The history of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Africa (ICU), formed in South Africa in 1919, is replete with lessons for today’s movements. The ICU, which also spread into (...)
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Education for revolution : Anarcho-syndicalist pedagogy for South Africa

The roots and principles of anarchosyndicalism are worth revisiting for the practice of worker education in movements inspired by these principles and traditions. Emphasising the democratic (...)
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Call for Protest against Invasion by Turkey of Rojava, Northern Syria

16/10/2019

Should the Anti-Capitalists Contest Elections ?

This is a lightly edited transcription of a talk given by Prof. Lucien van der Walt on a panel on the eve of the 2019 national elections in South Africa: the International Labour Research and (...)
7/09/2019

“The soldier has fallen” : Mandla Khoza, ZACF anarchist-communist and Swaziland activist, 22 May (...)

Comrade Mandla Khoza (or “MK,” as his friends and comrades knew him) passed away on Friday 26 July in his home town of Siphofaneni, Swaziland (Eswatini). He had long suffered from sugar diabetes. (...)
22/08/2019

Moving from crisis in South Africa’s municipalities to building counter-power

Across South Africa, municipalities are in crisis. They are under-funded, anti-working class, anti-poor and anti-township, and riddled with corruption by elites. The working class is oppressed by (...)
19/07/2019

After the election dust settles : Class struggle, the Left and power

Twenty-five years into democracy the black working class majority in South Africa has not experienced any meaningful improvements in its conditions. The apartheid legacy of unequal education, (...)
25/06/2019

Anarchism’s relevance to black and working class strategy : Dispelling ten myths

The anarchist tradition – including syndicalism,anarchist trade unionism – provides a coherent approach to issues of strategy, tactics and principle. It is a rich set of resources of the working (...)
10/06/2019

Rebuilding the workers’ movement for counter-power, justice and self-management : A contribution (...)

We need a serious discussion on how to reform the unions – still the largest, formal, class-based organisations – and what role they can play in a radical redistribution of wealth and power to the (...)
28/05/2019

VIDEO : What is it all about ? Join the Zabalaza Anarchist Political School (ZAPS) (...)

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